The European Parliament’s decision not to immediately pass the new EU Copyright Directive in July was seen by many as a major setback. It was defeated by 318 to 278, a margin of 40 votes. This means the proposed legislation now moves forward to a full plenary debate and vote next Wednesday 12 September.

As the music industry faces this pivotal moment, it is worth reflecting how we got here and what we are now facing.

The creative industries as a whole have long argued that embryonic digital legislation passed in the mid 1990s is outdated and simply not fit for purpose. The legislative process is slow at the best of times. Meanwhile, the tech industry “moved fast and broke things,” incurring the wrath of creators whose livelihoods have been upended as a result.

The publication of the draft EU Copyright Directive in late 2016 was an achievement in itself. Not only did the draft legislation address copyright protection and safe harbour loopholes, it also contained provisions concerning fairness and transparency towards creators. Following further debate and lobbying, is even more of an achievement that the key elements of the draft directive remain mostly intact.

The Directive has not been without it’s critics, as is the case with any proposed legislation. Academics, libraries and dignitaries such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee have all put forth concerns. We in the music industry can acknowledge some concerns as understandable even if we believe they are unfounded.

What is not understandable are the thoroughly vile and dishonest tactics deployed during the course of this year, whose objective is to stop the legislation in its tracks at any cost. The scale of this activity reads like set pieces straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook.

Some in the music industry have questioned how we fight back given the vast funding involved and the sheer scale of this enterprise. But fight back we must and the actions of those we face only serve to give us greater strength.

As any Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster will tell you: use your opponents’ force against them. In this case, we should call out the deceitful actions from within the tech sector and elsewhere and those actions speak louder than any words.

  • The Financial Times reported some MEPs received death threats

  • MEPs were each bombarded with over 60,000 emails from bots

  • These emails contained identical content according to The Trichordist

  • The same blog named the domain name from which a large number of these emails originated and its link to a US Inc. entity.

  • The same tactics have been found on Twitter: multiple bot accounts promoting #SaveOurInternet and similar hashtags

  • This contrasts to real world protests that only drew a few hundred protestors combined across Europe. The bots did not show up.


These actions must also be viewed against the current backdrop where tech firms have been scrutinised for avoiding responsibility concerning:

  • Blatantly dishonest content

  • Content that incites hatred and violence

  • Little accountability in how such content is disseminated

  • Minimal transparency in how user data is abused in facilitating all this

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are amongst those tech executives rebuked by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, for failing to take responsibility and failing to act in managing their own platforms. This is reflective of a broader failure that lies at the heart of a misguided and libertarian ideal, that somehow tech firms are exempt from laws and rules that govern the rest of the world.

The music industry and broader creative and media industries are made up of real people, filled with passion and blood pumping through their veins. They compose their own emails, speak to politicians and show up in person.

At the UK Music organized #LoveMusic busking event in London earlier today, artists, executives and even politicians turned out in support. Artists such as Brett Anderson, Ed Harcourt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Newton Faulkner and BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt. In addition a number of cross party British MPs who support the directive including Tom Watson, Nigel Evans and Kevin Brennan were amongst those in attendance.

One has to ask, if those opposing the EU Copyright Directive have such a compelling argument, why do they resort to such deceitful means? If we judge their actions, the arguments of those opposed to the directive hold no legitimacy and the European Parliament should vote in favour of the directive.

Andy Edwards, music manager and consultant

19 Dec 2018 | Press release

Centtrip Music bolsters senior management team

Internal Promotions Leverage Expertise in Music and Entertainment Sectors Centtrip Music, the music industry specialist division of treasury and international payments expert Centtrip, has announced two new promotions  within its senior management team. Simon Liddell has been promoted from his previous position...more

19 Dec 2018 | Press release

PPL announces quarter four payment details

PPL pays out over £39m in latest payment- Over 81,000 members paid- ‘Copyright term extension’ payments are rising ï‚· Strong international payment of £21.5mMusic licensing company PPL has today announced a quarterly payment of £39.2 million.In total over 73,000 performers...more

18 Dec 2018 | Press release

Callum Caulfield promoted to Marketing Director, Atlantic Records UK

Atlantic Records UK has announced the promotion of Callum Caulfield to Marketing Director, effective immediately. In this role, he will be responsible for leading the strategic development and execution of campaigns for Atlantic’s rich and diverse roster, home to some...more

18 Dec 2018 | Press release

Michelle Escoffery joins PRS Board as Writer Director

Award-winning British singer, songwriter and vocal producer, Michelle Escoffery, has joined the PRS Board as Writer Director. Michelle is celebrated as one of the UK’s most respected songwriters. A member of singing family group, The Escoffery’s, she signed to Atlantic Records...more

18 Dec 2018 | Press release

Universal Music Publishing Group signs HRVY to global publishing deal

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), a leading global publishing company, today announced that rising British pop sensation HRVY has been signed to an exclusive publishing deal. In 2017, HRVY’s debut EP 'Holiday' featuring Redfoo and Stylo G reached No. 2 on...more

18 Dec 2018 | Press release

The FAC is delighted to announce a very exciting partnership with legendary music instrument maker Roland

The partnership opens a new, collaborative relationship between the FAC and Roland, bringing masterclasses, production & music making expertise, world class facilities and more to our membership in 2019. Roland Corporation is a leading manufacturer and distributor of electronic musical...more

18 Dec 2018 | Press release

BASCA announces new senior hires, new strategy and rebrand in 2019

The UK creators association reveals a rebrand as part of its ambitious growth strategy for 2019.Graham Davies continues as Interim CEO, whilst MEP Emma McClarkin and music lawyer Julia Montero join as Independent Directors of the Board.   The British Academy of...more

17 Dec 2018 | Press release

BASCA announces CEO Vick Bain stepping down

The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) has announced that Chief Executive Officer Vick Bain is stepping down. In her thirteen years at BASCA Vick held several positions before being appointed CEO in 2012.  Following a period of serious ill-health...more

17 Dec 2018 | Press release

Warner/Chappell signs deal with Celeste

Celeste, one of the most exciting young soul songwriters in Britain, has signed a worldwide deal with Warner/Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group.   The deal comes after news of Celeste’s recent signing to Polydor Records.  The...more

17 Dec 2018 | Press release

New survey reveals boost to diversity among British music industry workforce – but leaders warn more must be done

UK Music today published the results of its 2018 Music Industry Workforce Diversity Survey.    UK Music, the umbrella body representing the UK's commercial music industry, today revealed survey findings that show the changing face of Britain's world-leading music business. The survey, which...more

17 Dec 2018 | Press release

Moira Stuart joins Classic FM

Moira Stuart, one of the nation’s most popular and respected television and radio broadcasters, is joining Classic FM next year as the station’s new presenter.Starting in February, Stuart will become Classic FM’s morning news presenter, on air every weekday from 6.00am...more

17 Dec 2018 | Press release

Brit starlet and America's Got Talent finalist Courtney Hadwin signs recording and publishing deal with Syco Music and Arista Records

Courtney Hadwin has signed a long-term recording contract with Syco Music in partnership with Arista Records in the US. The 14-year-old from Hartlepool, Northern England rose to fame in the US after she starred in this year's series of America's Got Talent on...more

16 Dec 2018 | Press release

LyricFind and CAPASSO Launch the World's First Lyric Licensing Agreement Across Sub-Saharan Africa

In our new borderless Global music streaming market, Africa is seen by many industry analysts as the next region to drive user growth. LyricFind, the world's largest lyric licensing company, is excited to further extend their lead with published content, by...more

16 Dec 2018 | Press release

Joint statement from IFPI and RIAJ on the EU-Japan FTA

On December 7th and 12th, the Diet of Japan and the European Parliament both held their respective votes in favour of ratification of the EU-Japan trade agreement. As representatives of the recording industry in Japan and worldwide, we welcome the...more

16 Dec 2018 | Press release

Bauer Media signs Dawn French to the Greatest Hits Radio Network

Bauer Media has signed Dawn French as the station voice of national radio brand – Greatest Hits Radio. The station will play the biggest songs of the 70s, 80s and 90s, listeners will discover an upbeat, authentic, fun and entertaining formatwhere the ‘Good Times Sound...more

14 Dec 2018 | Press release

BPI and South Wales Police close down fake Northern Soul vinyl & CD operation

Record labels association the BPI and South Wales Police recently collaborated over a four-year period to close down a major counterfeit operation specialising in Northern Soul records.Last month, on 30th November 2018 at Newport Crown Court four defendants: Alan Godfrey,...more

13 Dec 2018 | Press release

Soundation unveils new studio and visual identity

On December 13th, Soundation launches a new browser-based studio and visual identity across all channels in cooperation with design agency Kurppa Hosk. Apart from the studio’s new UI, the studio engine also gains a +300% performance improvement as a result...more

13 Dec 2018 | Press release

Nordoff Robbins named official charity partner of Rock Choir

The UK’s leading music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins are delighted to announce the official launch of a brand-new partnership with Rock Choir, which will see both organisations working together to reach even more people with the life-changing power of music...more

13 Dec 2018 | Press release

CEO Alison Wenham steps down at WIN

After twelve years at the helm of The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), the global forum for the professional independent music industry, Alison Wenham is stepping down as Chief Executive of the organisation. Prior to joining WIN full time in 2016 Alison...more

13 Dec 2018 | Press release

Global Underground set to release latest edition in its city album series with GU42: Patrice Bäumel - Berlin next March

Global Underground presents the latest edition in its signature city album series with GU42: Patrice Bäumel - Berlin, due for release on Friday 29th March 2019. The album, which follows the last Global Underground city series installments by Solomun, and...more

13 Dec 2018 | Press release

Kacey Musgraves, George Ezra and Andy C presented awards to celebrate first time achievements at the SSE Arena, Wembley

Awards were recently presented to CMA winner Kacey Musgraves, singer-song writer George Ezra and drum’n’bass legend Andy C for a series of monumental firsts at The SSE Arena, Wembley. American country music singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves was presented an award for her...more

13 Dec 2018 | Press release

MTV honours its top 20 music videos of 2018

MTV today announced its top 20 global most played music videos of the year. The list is based on cumulative on air music video plays from January 1st – December 3rd, 2018. Full list below:· Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa – One...more

13 Dec 2018 | Press release

Help Musicians UK's new Do It Differently Fund announces first 22 awardees

Pivotal new fund for independent music creators offers nearly £60k of holistic support across creative, wellbeing and business   Help Musicians UK (HMUK) today celebrated the first 22 music creators who have received funding from the charity's first ever Do it Differently Fund – which...more

13 Dec 2018 | Press release

Flohio, Ms Banks, Novelist, Big Zuu and more: Behind the scenes of the first ever grime and rap songwriting camp

Some of the biggest talent in UK grime and rap came together this week, for a first-of-its-kind songwriting camp.  Marking the end of 2018, a year that saw Godfather of Grime, Wiley, receive an MBE for services to music, PRS for Music and ASCAP,...more

13 Dec 2018 | Press release

Rightsholders unite in calling for an effective solution to the value gap

As Commission, Parliament and Council meet in Strasbourg to negotiate the Copyright Directive, a broad coalition of rightholders have called for them to remember the original objective of the legislation, which is to correct the distortion of the digital marketplace caused...more

12 Dec 2018 | Press release

Little Mix, BTS, The 1975 and Hollywood megastars host their own Christmas Day show on BBC Radio 1.

Little Mix, BTS, The 1975, Charli XCX, HRVY and a Hollywood All-Star line-up including Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Emma Stone and Benedict Cumberbatch are set to host their own hour long show on BBC Radio 1 this Christmas Day with...more

12 Dec 2018 | Press release

Statement from Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music.

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music said: “I would like to congratulate Paul on his appointment and look forward to working with him in his new capacity as Chief Executive of the MPA Group of Companies. Paul has given 22 years...more

12 Dec 2018 | Press release

AWAL Signs Worldwide Recordings Deal With Singer-Songwriter Ella Vos & hwyl records, LLC

Following Massive Success of "Words I Never Said", Ella Vos Takes Career to Next Level with AWAL AWAL, Kobalt's recording company, today announced a worldwide recordings deal with Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and visual artist, Ella Vos. The AWAL recordings deal...more

12 Dec 2018 | Press release

Justin Tranter and Katie Vinten partner with Warner Bros. Records for launch of new label, Facet Records

Vinten Will Also Serve as A&R Consultant to Warner Bros. and Warner/Chappell Music  Warner Bros. Records (WBR) today announced that the company has partnered with award-winning songwriter Justin Tranter and Katie Vinten, most recently Co-Head of A&R for Warner/Chappell Music, to...more

12 Dec 2018 | Press release

Sony/ATV signs Ella Mai to worldwide publishing deal

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed a worldwide deal with Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Ella Mai whose breakthrough hit “Boo’d Up” is one of the biggest singles of the year. The award-winning song climbed to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100,...more

19 Dec 2018

  • BASCA plans new strategy; makes appointments. (see News)

  • Global recorded music revenues forecast to show increase of 8.2% in 2018. (see Analysis)

21 Dec 2018

20 Dec 2018

18 Dec 2018

  • Ed Sheeran scores highest gross for a touring artist in a single year. (see News)

17 Dec 2018

  • CEO Vick Bain leaves BASCA. (see Business)

  • BPI to push for royalties from US radio plays in future trade agreement. (see News)

  • Music Industry Workforce Diversity Survey shows progress, but more to be done. (see News)

14 Dec 2018

  • Industry groups back calls for the European Parliament to "correct the distortion of the digital marketplace". (see News)

13 Dec 2018

  • Alison Wenham to step down from WIN. (see News)

  • Tencent ends first day trading up 8.6%; looks to subscription model. (see Business, Digital)

  • Paul Clements appointed CEO of The MPA Group. (see News)

  • Final ruling on the Blurred Lines case. (see News)

12 Dec 2018

  • Tencent Music prices shares at bottom of targeted range. (see Business)

  • Industry bodies and artists sign letter calling on the Government for an alternative to Brexit. (see News)

11 Dec 2018

  • Government commits £2m to fund the ongoing Get it Right anti-piracy campaign. (see News)

  • Ed Sheeran's Shape of You becomes the first track to reach 2bn Spotify streams. (see News)

10 Dec 2018

  • Apple acquires Platoon. (see Business)

  • BBC's Sound of 2019 longlist announced. (see News)

  • Grammy awards nominations announced. (see News)